NFL legend Steve Young suggested the celebrity cloud hanging over the Kansas City Chiefs this season has proved to be more of a detriment than a positive force for the team as they struggled at times while trying to win the division and close out their eighth straight division title.
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been the talk of the NFL world since the pop star began to show up for Chiefs games to support her tight end boyfriend this season. The talk shifted from whether the Chiefs could repeat as Super Bowl champions to the breakdown of how Kelce plays while his girlfriend is in attendance.
“It’s the biggest thing that’s ever happened to football, from the outside,” Young told ESPN for a profile on Mahomes’ season. “When it happened, I felt bad for Patrick.”
The Swift-Kelce mania is unlikely to make Marquez Valdes-Scantling catch a pass with a Green Bay Packers defender hanging over him or reverse an offensive offside call in a crucial game against the Buffalo Bills.
Young told ESPN he thinks the Chiefs handled the cultural moment as well as they could.
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“It’s this thing,” the former San Francisco 49ers star said. “When you have an outside force, it puts this weight on everyone. They don’t feel it necessarily, but if you step back, it’s like, holy hell. You’ve got this thing you’re dragging around. Everyone has to manage it. Anyone who says it’s not part of it is lying to themselves.”
Mahomes recorded the second-fewest passing yards total of his career since 2019. He took the reins for good in 2018. He had 4,183 passing yards, 27 touchdown passes and a career-high 14 interceptions.
The Chiefs will get to prove whether they are playoff-ready on Saturday night against the Miami Dolphins.
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